Close to one million people are expected to vote in the first Legislative Council elections.
A poll commissioned by the South China Morning Post indicated between 33 and 35 per cent of the 2.79 million-strong electorate would vote.
The exact figure would be between 920,000 and 976,500.
The survey, conducted by Asian Commercial Research between March 27 and April 1, found 29 per cent of respondents would vote on May 24.
Expecting more people to become definite about their intentions to vote in the weeks before the elections, the survey concluded: 'A turnout of 33 to 35 per cent seems likely.' Of the 1,304 electors contacted from five geographical constituencies, 44 per cent said they were extremely or very likely to vote. Another 31 per cent said they thought it was extremely or very important.
A comparison of the two results showed only 19.8 per cent of electors said they were extremely or very likely to vote and at the same time thought it was extremely or very important.
A further 8.5 per cent say they were fairly likely to vote and also thought it was extremely or very important.
A record 920,567 people voted in the 1995 elections, representing 35.79 per cent of the 2.57 million-strong electorate.
Officials have declined to make any predictions for this year.
Most respondents - 89 per cent - said voting should continue to be voluntary.
The Executive Council should be elected from geographical constituencies, according to 53 per cent of respondents. Nineteen per cent said it should be elected by functional groups.
Seventeen per cent supported the present appointed system.
Questioned about the new multiple-seats system for geographical constituencies, most respondents gave their support.